Saturday, July 13, 2024

Pulisic shines as USA sink Bolivia; Nunez stars in Uruguay’s win


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ARLINGTON, (USA) June 24: Christian Pulisic spread his arms wide with a big smile, then wanted to find the coach in the stands who drew up the fastest goal for the USA against a South American team.
Plenty of emotion against an overmatched opponent, in a tournament the Americans call their biggest test ahead of co-hosting the 2026 World Cup.
Pulisic scored in the third minute and assisted on Folarin Balogun’s goal in the 44th as the United States cruised past Bolivia 2-0 in their Copa America opener on Sunday night.
Pulisic joined Clint Dempsey as the only USA players with a goal and an assist in a Copa America match and reached 30 goals in 69 international appearances, the fewest among Americans.
Among six invited guests to South America’s championship, the USA. is expected to advance from Group C to the quarterfinals along with Uruguay.
Bolivia lost its 13th straight Copa America match dating to 2015 and has one win in its last 31.
The 11th-ranked USA plays Panama on Thursday at Atlanta and closes the group against Uruguay on July 1 at Kansas City, Missouri. No. 84 Bolivia meets Uruguay on Thursday at East Rutherford, New Jersey, then plays Panama on July 1 at Orlando, Florida.
Maximiliano Araújo scored when he sent a long-range shot into the top far corner in the 16th minute, Darwin Núñez and Matías Viña added late goals and Uruguay beat Panama 3-1 on Sunday night in its Copa America opener.
The match drew 33,425 to Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
Seeking a record 16th Copa America title, Uruguay dominated with 20 shots, including seven on target.
Amir Murillo scored late into stoppage time for Panama.
Uruguay is tied with Argentina for a record 15 Copa America titles but hasn’t advanced past the quarterfinals since winning its last championship in 2011.
Panama failed to get past the group phase in 2016, its only previous appearance as a guest at South America’s championship.
Uruguay has undergone a rebuilding process under coach Marcelo Bielsa after the retirement of Edinson Cavani and Diego Godín, and a young roster has shown its ability to contend. (AP)


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